JK Rowling’s first national newspaper interview up for auction

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Former “penniless” author JK Rowling told her story over 24 years ago (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Former “penniless” author JK Rowling told her story over 24 years ago (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

A 24-year-old page from the Daily Telegraph newspaper with an interview on author JK Rowling, then known as Joanne Rowling, is up for auction.

The page feature, published in July 1997, cost less than £1 at the time and could now fetch an estimated £150, earning a profit for the anonymous seller.

The piece on Rowling’s rags-to-riches story is headlined “From the dole to Hollywood”.

Speaking to reporter Elisabeth Dunn, the then 31-year-old single mother described her experience living on benefits – including going without food on some days as she fed her baby daughter Jessica.

After the £100,000 bidding war and subsequent deal with Scholastic Press in America, the Harry Potter author reportedly splurged £100 on a jacket.

JK Rowling – now a millionaire, as writer Dunn predicted.

In the interview, she said: “I was a graduate, I had skills.

“I knew my prospects, long-term, were good. It must be different for women who don’t have that belief and end up in the poverty trap. It’s the hopelessness of it, the loss of self-esteem.

“For me, at least, it was only six months. I was writing all the time which saved my sanity.”

JK Rowling is now worth around £820 million following the success of the Harry Potter Wizarding World franchise, including the seven-part book series, several spin-off novels, 11 films and countless creations of Potter-themed merchandise.

The auction follows the announcement of a Harry Potter reunion episode commemorating the 20th anniversary of the films.

The one-off film, titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, will include the main cast as well as stars Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman.

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